Marina Rykova

Marina was born in Kapotnya, a suburb on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia. After her father passed away when she was two years old, her mother was forced to work three jobs and care for three small children. Marina was sent to boarding school for five years, where she was exposed to violence, sexual encounters at an early age, and emotional abuse. When she was eight, a man in his late 60s from New Zealand moved in with Marina’s family in Moscow. He married her mother, and took the whole family to New Zealand for a holiday. On arrival, he was arrested, and Marina and her younger sister were put into foster care for six months.

Marina was forced into a completely new world, without speaking the language, or knowing what the future held for her. She was part of a case against her stepfather, where her evidence was able to put him behind bars, and see her reunited with her mother. After finishing high school at Epsom Girls Grammar, Marina graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts with Honours. She began to consolidate a lifetime of repressed material with the help of art. Her work shows the internal and physical suffering she dealt with throughout her life.

Her goal is to show people that facing the repressed material within us can be therapeutic and beautiful.